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Plan the Launch of a B2B Channel on Sitecore® OrderCloud® – Part Two

How to Get Budget & Sponsor Support for a Successful Launch

Walt Rolle

Head of EPAM’s Sitecore Competency Center
Blog
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Manufacturing & Auto
  • Retail & Distribution

In part one of this two-part blog series, we outlined six steps for facilitating successful workshops and whiteboarding sessions to gather critical information that can help you launch a B2B channel on Sitecore OrderCloud that works for your business. In part two, we’ll explain how to present your summarized findings to project sponsors in a way that inspires confidence and action.

Step One: Business Modeling

Start by analyzing desirability, viability and feasibility to create a strategy that guides innovation. Having this information will help you answer why your organization would undertake an effort to launch B2B commerce. Here’s how you can think through these elements:

  • An example of desirability is buyers being able to self-serve instead of submitting forms to the central office. 
  • Viability is best expressed through a return on investment (ROI) analysis that demonstrates the impact of increased sales and lower cost per sale. 
  • For feasibility, you may call out important behind-the-scenes initiatives, such as cleaning up data quality issues in the product catalog.
Step Two: Value Mapping

Describing value is helpful for driving project sponsorship. There are four categories used to describe value: revenue growth, cost savings, differentiation and risk mitigation. You can define value by using a simple list format and adding multiple items for each category. Here are examples for all four categories:

Step Three: B2B Model & Catalog

One of the steps we discussed in the first blog was identifying the appropriate B2B model. This model could be described in a roadmap format if multiple transformations are expected. For instance, the first release may be B2B multi-catalog and then expand to a marketplace. The area of the catalog that will be the focus of the first release can be described in terms of category, current source system and any action items required to get it ready for the platform.

Step Four: Functional Area Priorities

Gathering requirements can feel like an ambiguous process. To help the team focus, create a table that defines area and features. Then, use the information from your workshops and whiteboarding sessions to list feature titles for the following areas:

  • Shopping experience
  • Checkout
  • Order management
  • Account management
  • Inventory management
  • Pricing and promotions
  • Product catalog

Each area will have multiple features. For instance, the shopping experience area should have a product listing page, product detail page, search and cart. This table serves as a checklist to ensure you gather all the necessary requirements.

Other Outputs

Depending on how your team balances elaboration with time investment, you may decide to create additional outputs.

To develop an initial solution architecture, use the functional area and feature list table and map it to the capabilities of the platform you intend to use. For OrderCloud, this would be APIs within DXP, Ordering or Domain areas of the platform.

If you have a frame of reference from previous projects, the team can attempt to devise a high-level estimate across the following areas: system integration, middleware services, front-end design, buyer experience and admin experience. Otherwise, you may have to gather this frame of reference from an external partner.

If there is a clear delineation between release candidates and priorities being emphasized by the business, then you can show these efforts in roadmap format.

Conclusion

B2B buyers have spoken: They want self-service evaluation in a B2C-like experience. To tackle this challenge and meet these demands, your team can now leverage this methodology to collect the information you need to launch a new B2B channel in a disciplined fashion to ensure major requirements are not missing. Once you have all the necessary information, you can present a clear solution to sponsors that will likely get your roadmap the budget and attention it needs. From there, you can execute each project in an agile fashion to release to the market quickly and start capturing results. The results will support further investment as you take your organization’s digital and commerce maturity to new heights.

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